The Sea Lions Swim Team hosted the Parkside Piranhas and San Tan Valley Barracudas at the Mammoth Pool on Saturday. The Sea Lions won the meet with 796 points, Parkside finished second with 418 points, and San Tan Valley finished 3rd with 221 points. This win marks 12 consecutive years that the Sea Lions have won every dual meet in the Central Arizona Swimming League.
Parkside is a very good team and the meet felt much closer than the final score indicated. One of the strengths of the Parkside Team is the 7-8 Girls. Between Annie Nemons (7) and Jocelyn Hudson (8) the Sea Lions found a way to win every event in the age group. The Relay times that girls posted were awesome – 1:59.0 in the Medley Relay and 1:47.4 in the Freestyle Relay. Coaches expect those times to earn a #1 seed at the upcoming League Championship Meet, an accomplishment made even more impressive considering that both girls had to swim two legs each in the relays.
Home pool advantage was an important factor in the Sea Lions’ win. In nearly every close race, including Relays, the Sea Lions came up winners. Better turnout from the Sea Lions, as home teams usually experience, was a big factor in winning this meet. Also the familiarity of the pool played a factor in the meet, especially in the close races.
“At the meet, the Sea Lions looked like a team that is ready to win the League Championship again. Sea Lion swimmers of all ages continue to get better every week,” Coach Alex Gort stated. However, Coach also cautioned, “I am sure the other teams will all be at full strength and ready to race on the day of the League Championship. We will have to swim even faster than we did this week to win.”
The following swimmers swam the maximum number of the individual events at the meet and won them all: Damian Marquez (6), Joey Castellanos (12), Tabitha Kellam (14), Evan Apruon (15), Andres Valenzuela (16), and Darien Apuron (17).
The following swimmers had first place finishes on Saturday:
Damian Marquez, 6, (Fly, Back, Breast, Free);
Annie Nemons, 7, (Breast, Free Relay, Medley Relay);
Jocelyn Hudson, 8, (IM, Fly, Back, 50 Free, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Jessica Rouse, 10, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Julie Ramirez, 11, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Arianna Ervin, 11, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Neveah Derrick, 12, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Pedro Young, 11, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Joey Castellanos, 12, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Ethan Kellam, 12, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Briana Castellanos, 13, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Ben Fister, 13, (Free Relay);
Robert Sanz- Anton, 13, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Rianna Estrada, 14, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Tabitha Kellam, 14, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Hunter Hill, 14, (Free Relay);
Riley Stewart, 14, (Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Evan Apuron, 15, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay, Free Relay);
Andres Valenzuela, 16, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Breast, Free, Free Relay);
BaiLee Hill, 16, (Medley Relay);
Darien Apuron, 17, (IM, Fly, Back, 100 Free, Breast, Free, Medley Relay)
Daniel Garcia, 17, (Free Relay).
Pedro Young (11) was named Sea Lions Beast of the Week. He had a great week of practice that included fixing a flaw in his Breaststroke. He achieved personal best times in five races. His come from behind swim as the anchor leg on the Medley Relay showed determination. The fact that he did it after also swimming the lead off leg on the same relay shows that he is a Beast! The Sea Lions 11-12 Boys age group was already extremely good, now with Pedro swimming as fast as he is, it is even better.
The Sea Lions next meet will be the League Relay Meet at Parkside (Anthem Merrill Ranch) on July 7.
The League Championship Meet will be held at the Florence Aquatic Center on July 14. Sea Lions will compete against Eloy, Florence, Coolidge, Parkside, San Tan Valley and Globe with hopes becoming League Champions for the 12th consecutive year.
There is still time to join the team – contact Alex or Wendy Gort at 896-2190 or stop by the Mammoth Pool between 4 and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for more information.